Dell's project Ophelia, an Android-PC-on-a-stick effort revealed at CES last January, is apparently set to debut in July.…
A trio of new studies out this week have undermined three of the basic ideas underpinning the belief that the world is facing imminent doom as a result of human carbon emissions and perhaps-associated global warming in past decades. It would seem that the menaces of a runaway feedback loop driven by carbon belching from overheated Arctic dirt, surging sea levels powered by melting mountain glaciers, and imminent extinction for cuddly tropical lizards are all a lot less likely than scientists had previously thought.…
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It’s not just Western technology giants that are being targeted by the Indian government, now local IT services behemoth Infosys has been forced to challenge a Rs.5.77 billion (£68.7m) tax demand by the authorities.…
Blogger Jeffrey Beale, who tries to separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of academic publishing, is being threatened with a billion-dollar lawsuit from OMICS Publishing Group in India.…
Late-breaking news from Guatemala City: Impunity reigns in Guatemala tonight.
The Constitutional Court, the highest court in Guatemala (like the US Supreme Court), has just voted to annul the proceedings in the Rios Montt genocide trial from April 19th onward.
Three judges voted in favor of annulment. Two voted against. The court upheld the not guilty verdict in the case of Rios Montt's former head of intelligence (the director of the notorious G-2 unit), José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez.
The language of the court ruling specifies that the concluding phase of Ríos Montt trial has been thrown out, along with the verdict and 80-year prison sentence. It states that the phase of the trial in which victim testimony was delivered is still intact. But it's possible that this effectively means the trial is annulled, and that there must be a new trial, or that there is no posssibility of a guilty verdict. Reporters and international observers I've spoken to aren't exactly sure what is next, as far as whether a trial on the same charges will in fact be re-convened and repeated, or whether Rios Montt, 86, is now guaranteed to be a free man for the rest of his life. The full text of the Constitutional Court's ruling will be available soon, and I'll post more after speaking with people who are still in Guatemala who have a copy of the court documents.
Bottom line: Ríos Montt is a free man tonight. The overturning of the historic guilty verdict in this trial is a huge, though not unexpected blow, to justice.
It is an unimaginable blow to each of the Ixil Maya victims, and others, who suffered abuses during the US-backed military dictator's 17-month reign.
About 100 Ixil survivors testified during the trial.
Rios Montt was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, and with the deaths of nearly 2,000 Ixil Maya from 1982-1983.
Whatever happens with the trial, however, the world is watching. The world must keep watching. The world has listened to the testimonies of the Ixil Maya victims who spoke in the courtroom, and the world must not forget.
"Si, hubo genocidio," the hashtags and the courtroom chants proclaimed. "Yes, there was genocide."
Lawyers for Ferrero, SpA (makers of the Nutella spread) have sent a legal threat to Sara Rosso, who founded and maintains the World Nutella Day site, where they promote Nutella through recipes, tweets, stories, and (obviously) an annual day devoted to the sugary gloop. Rosso has capitulated and will no longer promote their products for them.
Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people! I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people Tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook! There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.
The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
The accepted wisdom that computers are an indispensable tool of modern education is under challenge in a study conducted for Germany's Centre for Economic Studies IFO (CESifo).…
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Google Checkout is the latest product to check into the Chocolate Factory's hospice, with merchants told it will be farewelled in six months.…
Michael Gove is the UK Secretary of State for Education, the subject of a vote of no confidence from the nation's head teacher's conference that ran 99% opposed to his ideas for educational reform. The major motif of Gove's reforms is an emphasis on rote memorisation and linear learning. Gove insists that he loves creativity, but says that creativity is only possible once you've mastered the basics ("You cannot be creative unless you understand how sentences are constructed, what words mean and how to use grammar.")
Writing in the Guardian, Ken Robinson thoroughly and blazingly rebuts this proposition, and presents a stirring manifesto for embracing creativity in education:
First, creativity, like learning in general, is a highly personal process. We all have different talents and aptitudes and different ways of getting to understand things. Raising achievement in schools means leaving room for these differences and not prescribing a standard steeplechase for everyone to complete at the same time and in the same way.
Second, creativity is not a linear process, in which you have to learn all the necessary skills before you get started. It is true that creative work in any field involves a growing mastery of skills and concepts. It is not true that they have to be mastered before the creative work can begin. Focusing on skills in isolation can kill interest in any discipline. Many people have been put off mathematics for life by endless rote tasks that did nothing to inspire them with the beauty of numbers. Many have spent years grudgingly practicing scales for music examinations only to abandon the instrument altogether once they've made the grade.
The real driver of creativity is an appetite for discovery and a passion for the work itself. When students are motivated to learn, they naturally acquire the skills they need to get the work done. Their mastery of them grows as their creative ambitions expand. You'll find evidence of this process in great teaching in every discipline from football to chemistry.
Third, facilitating this process takes connoisseurship, judgment – and, yes, creativity, on the part of teachers. One concern about the revised national curriculum is that it will be too linear and prescriptive. For creativity to flourish, schools have to feel free to innovate without the constant fear of being penalised for not keeping with the programme. Too much prescription is a dead hand on the creative pulse of teachers and students alike.
AT&T Wireless plans to lift some of its restrictions on the use of mobile video chat apps by the end of this year, according to a statement the carrier released on Monday.…